How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

Poll of the Day

faramir77 posted...
I don't think it really ever made sense to drop three months of salary on a ring unless you were still living with parents or something.

I'm reasonably well off but three months of salary would definitely take me over a year to put away. It would be a devastating expense to spend that on something like a ring when it inevitably should be used to pay for the expensive infrequent things in life, like a new furnace, a new roof, or a new vehicle.

Bear in mind that that tradition dates from a time when an entire house only cost 1-2 years' household income, so it was considerably more attainable. Still, though, I think the principle applies: If you have to choose between buying a new furnace that you need or buying an engagement ring, you might not be financially stable enough to commit to spending the rest of your life with someone and you should consider holding off accordingly. I still wouldn't actually spend that much, because I just don't like spending money like that on luxuries (nor would my girlfriend want me to), but the important metric is that you're able to do so without undermining your financial stability.

blu posted...
I guess its easier to just bring her so she could select what she wants. So is the way it works for most people is to bring your girlfriend shopping, pick something out, then propose and she isnt necessarily surprised?

Depends what she'd like best. You can propose with a placeholder and then take her shopping for the real one later, you can pay enough attention to her tastes to be able to buy something she'll like without getting her direct input, or you can just involve her in the whole process and have the proposal itself be more of a formality. You'll have to figure out for yourself what the best option is, since it varies from person to person and relationship to relationship.

Honestly, if you aren't sure what she'll like best, you probably actually shouldn't be marrying her. You'll want to pay more attention than that if you're serious about making a lifelong commitment.
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